“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
I read the story about a little girl who had two apples. Her mother asked if she could have one of them. The little girl took a bite of one and then took a bite of the other. The mother was sorrowful that her daughter had done this, thinking she was keeping them to herself. The little girl handed her an apple and said, "This one tastes the best, Mommy, so I want you to have this one."
How often do we judge others like this?
How often do we make an assumption about behavior that leads to a judgment of character?
How often do we say or do something because we have formed an opinion, feel they are doing something wrong, and feel we need to tell them?
If our answer is "a lot," then it is time to take a step back and remember and acknowledge that God is the Judge, and judging should be left to Him.
God tells us not to judge others. I am sure there are many reasons why God asks this of us. Besides the fact it is not our role, we cannot help but have underlying beliefs which affect our opinion. Judging others takes away our enjoyment of others as we spend time being critical of them instead of counseling or helping them. God expects us to decide if someone is being foolish so we can discern if their behavior would harm us or others. We are not to be judging them: that is to only be left up to God.
Ask God for wisdom if you find yourself in a situation where you find yourself judging someone. Make sure you are judging whether their actions are foolish or wise but not making a judgment about their motives. There is a difference. As a business owner, I must evaluate an employee's behavior, work accomplished, and work ethic. It is not my role to judge them as a person. There is a vast difference. I am responsible for forming an opinion or conclusion about their job performance, not them as a person.
Consider these 10 signs you may be judging someone:
You find yourself saying, "You should" or "I would"
You avoid people who disagree with you
You consider their behavior and not their heart
You gossip about them
You make a decision about whether or not they can change
You make a decision on what their motives are
You compare them to you
You do not feel compassion when talking to someone about your opinion of something they have said or done.
You forget you will be judged by the same standards by which you judge others
You do not pray before you decide to share your opinion
Taking This to God in Prayer
Dear Heavenly Father, please forgive me for the times I have spoken words in judgment instead of words spoken out of kindness, love, and willingness to help. Please give me the wisdom to recognize if I am being judgmental as I prepare to speak to others. Thank you for the joy that comes from doing things Your way, not mine. In Jesus' Name, Amen.